New Delhi:It is an open confrontation between IPL officials and the government. The IPL authorities say they don't need permission to go ahead but the government insists it can't provide extra security during elections. So is it curtains for the big ticket event?
Home Minister P Chidambaram and IPL chief Lalit Modi are nowhere close to a compromise over the fate of the hugely popular and wealthy Indian Premier League of Twenty20 cricket.
The IPL is reworking some dates so that play and polling is not held on the same day in any city. But the government sources say that is not good enough.
The Home Minister says that IPL should be postponed till after the elections because after the Lahore attack, he can't spare security for both.
But the IPL doesn't want to postpone the tournament and the government wants it after the elections.
The Home Ministry estimates that it needs 75,000 central security personnel for the elections. And given the post-26/11 scenario, it can't pull out personnel from the border.
But according to IPL management, local cops can be used. For instance Maharashtra has already assured security. They also say that the tournament doesn't affect the movement of Central security personnel.
BCCI sources also say it doesn't need the government's permission to hold the IPL matches but the stakeholders are shaken.
"What has happened in Pakistan is not likely to be repeated here because our security forces are competent. However, we should also try and understand the government's view," Union minister and ICC President-elect Sharad Pawar said.
"Postponing IPL will be detrimental to sport as well as cricketers. The move will hurt the sentiments of the cricket fans," Royal Challangers owner Vijay Mallya said.
"I will not react on Home Minister's statement. We always provide good security. We are a country that stands for tolerance but tolerance should not be taken as weakness. I hope everyone watches IPL and we will provide the best security we can," Rajasthan Royals stakeholder Shilpa Shetty said.
On Thursday, a meeting between IPL and the government will be held to find a way out money versus security tie.